Little Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch, along with the Little Rann of Kutch and the Banni grasslands on its southern edge, is situated in the district of Kutch and comprises some 30,000 sq km (10,000 sq mi) between the Gulf of Kutch and the mouth of the Indus River in southern Pakistan. The marsh can be accessed from the village of Kharaghoda in Surendra Nagar District.

In India's summer monsoon, the flat desert of salty clay and mudflats, which average 15 m above sea level, fill with standing water. The greatest extent between the Gulf of Kutch on the west and the Gulf of Cambay on the east get united during the monsoon.

Gir Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary is famous as Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. Little Rann of Kutch is a fantastic destination for wildlife lovers. Wild Ass Sanctuary was established in 1972. The inner run of the water from sea in Little Rann of Kutch makes the sanctuary a marshy ground and allows a large diversity of the wild animals to reside here. Irregular grassland also called as baits make the major vegetation in the Rann of Kutch. These are few islands in the sanctuary where uncouth grasses jump up in the rainy season. In the dry period, the wild asses go to regions which are supplied with drinking water. Rann of Kutchh Wildlife Sanctuary of Gujarat is the only abode of Asiatic wild ass in India. The chestnut-brown animal is the last survivor of wild horse family of the Indian subcontinent and is found nowhere in the country except Gujarat’s Thar Desert. The other wildlife attractions of the Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary include gazelle, blue bull, wolf, Indian foxes, jackal, jungle cat, hare, etc. The famous bird species found inhabiting Indian Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary are laggar falcon, spotted & Indian sand grouse, flamingos, Francolin partridge, desert larks, houbara bustard, bustard quails, desert wheatear, short toed eagle, steppe eagle, Imperial eagle, storks, ducks, cranes and pelicans.

Rann Riders, Little Rann Of Kutch

Rann Riders is an eco-friendly resort designed to blend in with the rural, pastoral and agricultural countryside in which it is located. The resort makes an ideal base to explore the Little Rann of Kutch and its Wild Ass Sanctuary, a number of excellent birdwatching sites, interesting villages and their handicrafts, and architectural monuments like the Modhera Sun Temple and Patan World Heritage Site.

The resort offers accommodations in cottages designed like the round houses of Rabaris in Kutch and the square houses of nearby Dasada. The mud-covered walls of cottages are beautifully hand-embellished with murals, inlaid mirrors and leaf patterns. Each cottage is an independent double bedroom with a/c, comfortable furniture and an ensuite bathroom with modern amenities. The resort also has its own lake and gardens which bring in birds, bats and other wildlife.

Some key facilities of the resort:

The long dining hall, furnished to blend with the theme of the resort, serves both international and Indian food including regional specialities. The resort grows some of its own produce for the kitchen, and also has its own livestock including poultry and goats.

The resort has an excellent stable of prize-winning Marwari, Kathiawadi and Sindhi horses. Riding trips and horseback safaris can be organised.

Rann Riders has a fleet of open vehicles for cross-country safaris in the Little Rann of Kutch, the remaining habitat of the endangered Indian Wild Ass, a magnificent member of the horse family. Nilgai (blue bull), the largest antelope in India can also be seen during the drives. Indian Wolf, Indian and White-footed Desert Foxes, Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena, Desert, Jungle and Fishing Cat, and smaller mammals like hares, hedgehogs, gerbil and field mice are seen in the sanctuary.

The Little Rann of Kutch is a birding paradise. During the safaris in the Rann expect to see large flocks of larks, and other dryland birds like sandgrouse, coursers, plovers, chats, warblers, babblers, shrikes. Among the many winter visitors are the houbara bustard, short eared owl and sociable lapwing. The best birding is at the lakes and marshes in and around the Rann where birds gather in numbers beyond comprehension during the winter months from October to March. These are the months when demoiselle and common cranes are seen in incredibly large numbers. The wetlands also attract flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises, spoonbill, a variety of ducks, plovers and other waterfowl. The Rann is also the hunting ground of raptors like the short-toed eagle, aquila eagles, six species of falcon, buzzards and three species of harrier. It is one of the few places where harriers can be seen roosting on open-ground at night.

The resort offers village tours which cover handicrafts like embroidery, beadwork, tangaliya and ikat weaving, etc.

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